Severn Trent extends farm environmental grant scheme

Severn Trent has opened up its STEPS environmental grant scheme applications to farmers who haven’t yet completed projects from last year’s funding round.

Emma Abbott, Severn Trent agricultural team manager, explains that many farmers use the autumn and winter as a quieter time to complete STEPS work, but the wet weather has meant over 50% of 2019 projects are not yet finished.

“We want to continue to support and encourage farmers in protecting water quality and streamlining operations. So, we hope that this extra flexibility will help them to continue their good work,” she said.

Extended application deadline

The water company has also given farmers more time to get their grant applications in.

“We’ve extended the STEPS application deadline until February 14, 2020. But as the grants are becoming more competitive, we’d recommend taking time to consider your application now,” said Adam Freer, Severn Trent catchment scientist.

Applications are accepted based on a scoring system, so to make yours more competitive, I’d strongly recommend including a high priority option on your application.

“These will depend on your catchment, but generally include items that help prevent pesticides, nitrates or bacteria from reaching water.

“I’d encourage farmers to get in touch with their local Severn Trent agricultural adviser, to help tailor applications to individual farms,” he said.

How to apply

You can find out if you are in a priority catchment on the Severn Trent website.

Read the STEPS options brochure to find out about the wide range of options, or, contact your agricultural advisor to arrange a visit to discuss what is best for your farm.